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Today’s live sports experience is like no other

We’re down to the Final Four. And although the only team left in my bracket is Michigan, Louisville, Syracuse, Michigan and Wichita State are going to deliver incredible basketball on-court this weekend.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been glued to my TV, NCAA March Madness App and my iPad to stay on top of the latest action. This weekend I plan to do the same, but I only wish I was going there in person, because the live experience, today, is like no other.

georgia2_dome_1

Georgia Dome (courtesy PBS)

Fans from around the country that will be at the Georgia Dome will forever remember the experience of being there, and the beauty, this time around, is that they will be able to connect with family, friends, and people around the world live as they share their experience with photos, video, and interactions through any social media channel. With Cisco’s innovative Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, which was designed carefully for this venue, and implemented by our partner CDW, we are making the next-generation fan experience possible during this year’s Final Four.

Fan expectations are greater than ever, mandating a mobile, immersive, personalized and social experience that is fueled by being connected in new ways, to more content, to more people, and to more things or devices.

Cisco’s mission is to continue to “Connect the Unconnected.”  Fans across the sports and entertainment world are now able to experience this in a stadium near them, not just at the Final Four. Our technology powers the NBA and MLB data centers, allowing fans to consume video instantaneously, whether they are at home or on-the-go. Around the world in venues such as Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (home of Real Madrid) fans can tap into the high-density Wi-Fi network, and at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, fans can use the latest mobile video solution ­Cisco StadiumVision Mobile, which shows different camera angles of the action on and off the court.  Many other creative apps are being discussed around the world with our team of experts.

And this is just the beginning. It’s all part of the Internet of Things.  As as we look ahead to a not too distant future, the possibilities that the Internet of Everything will bring for sports teams, leagues, venues and fans are endless. We are now working on the convergence of data ­- wearable clothing that informs coaches about a player’s fitness level during the game.  Another development in the industry we’ve been asked to look into is when ­players take a pill that allows for immediate analysis of injuries by team doctors.  And lastly, we are looking into connecting ‘things’, such as balls, bats, pucks, and more to deliver real-time stats to fans about how far a ball was hit, how hard a puck was shot, or how fast a player ran. All of these possibilities will continually drive the transformation of sport and Cisco is leading the way in the market.

Cisco will be at the center of these opportunities, because our intelligent networks will continue to connect the unconnected elements in sports and live events, and in turn, create more real-time experiences. We are doing it today, and we will be doing it in the future. Tomorrow Starts Here.

 

 

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Question: Are you PCI Compliant? Are you Secure? Part 2 of 2

Last week, we sat down with Bart McGlothin and Christian Janoff from Cisco’s security team to discuss PCI Security for Retail to better understand “What is PCI Compliance?” and “How does that affect Retailers?”

As a quick re-cap: PCI Compliance is a 12-step process to secure credit cards. Any retailer that accepts credit card payments must be “PCI Compliant” (i.e., follow those 12 steps). Compliance is enforced by the Retailer’s acquiring bank (the financial institution that processes the credit card payments for the Retailer).

Q. So, we know that Retailers need to be PCI Compliant. How can Cisco help?

A. Cisco has a PCI design and implementation guide for merchants to use.  It really stands alone in the industry because it provides holistic guidance in three key ways:

Read More »

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Virtual Work Works, But Don’t Confuse Technology with Change Management

April 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm PST

I was in a brainstorm meeting about my team’s next-generation strategy last week, and we made a number of random connections that knitted together a pretty big idea — the kind of dot-connecting that only happens when people with different (and sometime conflicting) perspectives trust each other in the pursuit of an important goal.

Five of us worked on the idea, but only two of us were in the room physically together. Yes, I’ll say it out loud:  three people were working from home.

Much has been said and written recently about the value of working virtually, and I don’t think you can sub-divide mobility into “at home” and “on the road.” Social technologies, video and mobile platforms make it easy to work from just about anywhere.

But as leaders, we have to resist the temptation to confuse technology with change management -- despite our love affair with technology. Any time technology brings a sea-change transformation to the way humans do stuff, especially work stuff, we can’t forget that people work in organizations — and organizations are an amalgam of culture, processes and technology.

All of Cisco’s experience has taught us that Read More »

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National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic 2013

There are so many things that make me proud of Cisco and its employees, but one of the most gratifying is the work we do to support our nation’s heroes – our warfighters and veterans. This week, nearly 400 of those heroes will take to the slopes, ride snowmobiles, try scuba diving, and enjoy rock climbing and other activities at the 27th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass, Colo. from March 31-April 5.

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

Snowmobiling at the 2012 Winter Sports Clinic

The Clinic provides adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military veterans and active duty service men and women with disabilities. It is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and supported by other sponsors, including Cisco.

I look forward to this event every year. It is truly inspiring to share these experiences with such great men and women, hear their stories and see them take on new challenges. Personally, my favorite activity is snowmobiling, although I enjoy skiing as well. But by far the best thing about the Clinic is the opportunity to give something back to, and show our appreciation for, our nation’s finest. Read More »

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Infographic: Moments in the First 40 Years of Mobile

You’ve probably heard by now that mobile phones have a 40th birthday this week.  As they’ve gone from bricks to sleek and smart; from simple texts to immersive experiences; from occasional use to human sensors. It’s been an interesting trip.  In addition to the typical things you might see on a timeline about mobile (1983 – the first commercially available mobile phone released. 1990 to 2011 – mobile phone subscriptions grow from 12 million to 6 billion … actually, Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive page that you don’t need me to repeat here.) our mighty BYOD solutions team created a timeline graphic with some other interesting events: Read More »

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